to make up amalgam called My Life.
Midlife flashbacks of childhood sexual abuse toppled my seemingly perfect world. I spiraled from my role as wife of 30 years and mother of two sons, aged 17 and 25, to a dark place that left me confused, frightened and angry.
Recalling more than a decade of sexual assault at the hands of my parents and brothers, and being trafficked to neighbors, minister, and my father’s co-worker’s cost me my ambition, my spirituality and nearly her sanity. Within three years, I was divorced, unemployed, disowned by my brothers and battling their attempts to discredit me.
My story doesn’t end there. A scholar, I researched and sought healing. Traditional psychotherapy and prescription medicine interwoven with Rolfing, massage, and acupuncture all played a role in my journey. With time, I discovered process painting. The creative experience, not the final product, was the goal.
My early love of nature, renewed by the natural beauty of Colorado, inspired the artist within me; I chose the colors, the brushes and the strokes. Empowered, my independence was restored.
Emerging from the aftershocks a leader, I founded the organization Finding Our Voices to advocate for and support survivors of sexual violence. I teach workshops, conducts outreach, and provides art-based healing. I actively campaigns to raise public awareness and extend the network of resources for survivors.
My transformation into a well-known speaker, author, and mentor began on a small farm in Kansas. My education spanned a one-room schoolhouse to a major university where I earned a Master of Science Degree. I rekindled the skills I had developed as a teacher, counselor, farmer, and small business owner to achieve my current success.
Today, surrounded by the foothills of the Rockies, I create art, container gardens, play piano, and sip steaming lattes when I’m not traveling the world inspiring and encouraging others with her narrative.